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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  May 7, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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day and today on the campaign trail, something important happened that we need to talk about. it wasn't about the economy. it wasn't about health care. it was something that gets to the heart of what kind of leader mitt romney wants to be. and what kind of campaign he plans to run. while mitt romney was stumping in ohio, an audience member said the president should be tried for treason for working outside the constitution. the response from willard spoke volumes. listen. >> we have a president right now that is operating outside the structure of our constitution. i want to know -- yeah, i do agree he should be tried for treason, but i want to know what you are going to be able to do to help restore balance between the three branches of government and what you are going to be able to do to restore our constitution in this country.
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>> i'm sure you do, i believe that the constitution was not just brilliant but probably inspired. i would respect the different branches of government if i'm fortunate enough to become president, and -- [ applause ] >> try the president for treason. folks, this is stunning. governor romney wants to lead the party and yet he refuses to denounce this type of talk. only when pressed later on if he agreed with the questioner or not, did he say, quote, no, no, of course not. when asked why he didn't denounce her comments outright, this was all he could muster. >> governor romney, do you think president obama should be tried for treason like the person who asked you? >> of course not. >> no? is there a reason you didn't correct her or say you wouldn't. >> i answered the question. >> you don't agree with -- >> i don't correct all the questions that get asked of me. i obviously don't agree he
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should be tried. >> i don't correct all the questions that get asked of me. you want to lead this party? you want to lead this country? and yet you think this is leadership? it's the same lack of leadership you showed during the primaries when your fellow candidates acuesed the president of, quote, being a food stamp president. there was silence from you on that one. but make no mistake, folks, this party has been going right off the cliff for some time now. >> the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> you lie! >> this is about more than what happened today. it's about a party and now a candidate that refused to denounce talk like this. willard, winning the election like this is not winning at all. joining me now is former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst. and michael steele, an msnbc
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analyst and former rnc chairman. thank you both for being here tonight. let me start with you, michael. why won't romney denounce treason talk like this? >> well, i think he said afterwards that he, you know, he did, i think, they put out a statement or something addressing something along those lines of, you know, obviously, he didn't think the president should be tried for treason. i think in the moment of hearing that he probably discounted that as hyperbole and didn't give any credence. he addressed the specific question and left that hanging out there. and reverend, as you know, when you were a candidate, you don't answer everything that's put in front of you, nor do you address it. you let the stuff that stands out there that's, obviously, not relevant to the debate alone and you move to the core question. which he said he did. >> well, i don't know that because i've learned by being around certain rooms and allowing things to go unchallenged that i should have challenged them and i learned -- >> yeah, but you learned that after doing that, al. >> i'm going to disagree with
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you. so i've learned that you do -- silence is consent. the audience applauded. this was emphasized by the reaction of the audience. so for him to ignore it is it silence by consent or was he just not wanting to stand up to that audience and show the kind of leadership that even john mccain showed? >> i think you've made, you know, created a choice there. two false alternative choices for the man. he addressed the question in front of him mean did not feel that it was important to give any creedence to the comment about treason. he did subsequently, after being peppered by the press to address that, he addressed it and said, no, i don't believe the president should be tried for treason. so i think in the moment he didn't see it reached a level that he should dignify it with some level of response because the press then followed up. he did. that happens all the time on campaign photocopies will happen again. president obama himself will find himself in that situation at some point as well.
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>> governor rendell, we have seen a lot of ugly attacks on this president, both in 2008 and this year. in 2008, john mccain finally denounced -- wanted to call the president a muslim. let me show this to you. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him and he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab. he has not -- >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. >> no? >> no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. and that's what this campaign is all about. he's not. thank you. >> governor rendell, isn't that leadership? i mean, obviously, you or i didn't support mccain but you'd have to respect the fact he respected his opponent and respected the public.
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>> sure. and what michael did the best job he could putting a decent face on this. but, really, people when they vote for president or governor or mayor, executive leaders, they are looking for leaders. they are looking for people who will set a tone. there 24 things wrong with what the governor romney didn't do. he had a chance to tone down the rhetoric of polarization and even hate that's out there for many people. he could have said, look, ma'am, i agree with your point that the president sometimes uses the executive power when he shouldn't but make no mistake. he's a good american. he's not guilty of treason. that would have toned down the rhetoric, number one, but number two it would have shown he was a leader and willing to take a stand in front of an audience who had just applauded and he should have done it when someone criticized the gay soldier for his question in the republican debate. he should have said then, hey, folks, i don't care what his sexual orientation is, he
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doesn't deserve to be booed. he's out there putting his life on the line for the american people. and should have done it when rush limbaugh attacked and brutally attacked that young woman in georgetown and called her a slut. but he was afraid. and the problem with mitt romney is he's afraid to take on the republican base even when they are dead, dead wrong. >> and, michael, you even have the birther issue. even members of the president's own party still questioning the president's birth certificate. sitting members of congress. listen to this. >> all i can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. the question is, is it legitimate? >> i have a lot of doubts about all that. but i don't know. i haven't seen it. >> wouldn't michael, mr. romney, do himself well politically if not in terms of his own true courage and beliefs if he just stood up and started dealing
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with, look, these are going to be the boundaries of this campaign, and all of this ugly rhetoric i'm not party to, as john mccain did with that lady that he actually took the mike from her and interrupted the question. >> reverend, i agree with that last point. i think both sides need to do that. i think it will be important to the discourse that's going to be important for this election. but, you know, at the same time, i get the dismay that you seem to have about romney not stepping up and showing leadership. where was the president's leadership in office during all of the name calling about the tea party people, the calling them un-american. calling them, you know, part of, you know, terrorists. i mean, i didn't see the president come out and put a damp on that and say that's not the kind of speech that we need to have in public -- >> i guarantee you, though, michael -- i guarantee you -- >> but let me just finish my point and then you can come at it. but the reality is both of these gentlemen will find themselves in a situation in a moment where
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they are going to have to weigh whether their engagement at that level elevates something that they can otherwise dismiss or not. >> michael, michael, are you trying to say that someone in the presence of the president standing in an audience like this lady did today made a mischaracterization -- >> i'm not saying, but reverend -- >> and the president stood there silent? i mean that's the example you use. >> biden, the speaker of the house -- biden, the speaker of the house and other democratic leaders are on record having used very, very harsh language with respect to american citizens and their involvement in the political discourse. now it didn't happen in front of the president, but the president was eerily silent about it as well until such time as the pressure built up around and then -- >> that's someone disagreeing -- >> i get the point you want to jump on romney and make him seem like he's a leader. he didn't have to respond to
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that because it was a ludicrous statement. >> he could have said it was ludicrous. >> let me ask michael a question. >> excuse me a minute. vice president biden, a leading democrats want to say how they disagree with the tea party and think some of what they are saying it wrong, that's one thing. to say the president -- >> oh, that's one thing? okay. so that -- >> that's not a characterization. that's a very serious statement that you are talking to a man who wants to be president. >> we disagree. i get the point you are trying to make but i think you're way off base with it. i think you are trying to score points that don't exist. >> let me ask michael a question, reverend, if i can. michael if you were on the stage in that first debate when that questioner from the audience said that or that call-in attacked the gay soldier -- >> right. >> would you have spoken out? >> yes, i said at the time i would have, but that's me. >> of course you would have, but mitt romney didn't. that's the point. >> i get your point. >> he's a coward. >> i get your point. what i would, do what you would
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do ed and what reverend would do is different. and everybody responds to these things differently. you make that judgment in the moment as to whether or not it rises to the level that you need to give it credence. he thought in that moment -- again, i don't know. i wasn't there. i can't read his mind but just looking at it and listening to it he decided in that moment not to give that point credence, to just deal with the more substantive question. >> look. i have high regard for governor romney. i worked with him when he was governor and i've said on reverend's show and other shows i thought he was a good governor. i've seen thim do strong things. but you've got show moral leadership. he's not a coward but he's afraid of the base. he's afraid of offending the base. >> i'm going to have to wrap it up there, but, michael, i'm going to end it as a started it. i've been in a room where some wrong and ugly things were said. i was judged by being silent and they were right to tell me you can't be silent. >> okay. well, rev eerend -- >> if mr. romney wants to be respected as a leader you cannot
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co-sign people making outrageous statements with your silence. former governor ed rendell and michael steele, thanks for joining us. >> lesson learned. ahead -- breaking news tonight. the cia has stopped an al qaeda plt to destroy an airplane bound for the united states. detail and a live report coming up. plus -- karl rove's money machine is hard at work against the president. now he's doing everything he can to keep his big money donors a secret. and the gloves come off. president obama kicks off his campaign going right at willard. it's going to be a long six months for him. >> i don't care how many ways you try to explain it. corporations aren't people. people are people. >> you're watching "politics nation" live on msnbc. look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. t there. - one serving of cheese is the size of four dice. one serving of cereal, a baseball. and one serving of fruit, a tennis ball. - you know, both parties agree. our kids can be healthier... the more you know. welcome back to "politics nation." this weekend, president obama officially kicked off his re-election campaign with rallies in ohio and virginia. and some scathing words for his opponent, willard mitt romney. >> he's run a large financial firm and he's run a state. but i think he has drawn the
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wrong lessons from those experiences. he sincerely believes that if ceos and wealthy investors like him make money, the rest of us will automatically prosper as well. bigger profits haven't led to better jobs. governor romney doesn't seem to get that. he doesn't seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary, whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union busting might not always be good for the average american or for the american economy. i don't care how many ways you try to explain it. corporations aren't people. people are people. >> the president also tied romney to republicans in congress pushing an unpopular agenda that protects the 1%.
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>> this time they want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. this time they want even deeper cuts to things like education and medicare and research and technology. republicans in congress have found a nominee for president who's promised to rubber stamp this agenda if he gets the chance. >> willard supported the original ryan budget to end medicare as we know it, even calling it, quote, marvelous. and right now, house republicans are pushing a new budget bill that guts the safety net even more. the bill includes $261 billion in cuts to social programs like health care, food stamps and unemployment benefits. tomorrow, the senate will vote on a measure to keep student loan interest rates from rising. a decision that would affect 7.4 million students.
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joining us now is sherrod brown. he was with president obama in ohio on saturday. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> it was great seeing the president in front of 14,000, pretty enthusiastic ohioans. thanks. >> now the president went right after mitt romney. was that a surprise to you, and will it play well into ohio? >> yeah, governor romney's got a bunch of things he's got to answer to. he's got everything from his offshore accounts to his support of the budget that really goes after medicare and goes after meals on wheels and food stamps and all kinds of middle class and working class and programs, too, for the poor. but he's also in ohio. governor romney's got to answer his opposition to the auto rescue. he's got to answer his support for rolling back collective bargaining rights which is a shot directly to middle class. he's got a lot of explaining t do in ohio, and i think you are going to see the president making the contrast between what governor romney believes and what the president believes.
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and i'm there with him because i have an opponent the same that i'll make the same contrast with. >> now the obama campaign has a new ad that's come out called "go." highlighting the fight for economic recovery. let me show you some of it. >> america's economy spiraling down. >> the biggest point drop that's ever been seen in a day. >> all before this president took the oath. >> so help me god. >> some said our best days were behind us, but not him. >> don't bet against the american worker. >> he believed in us. fought for us. >> so clearly they are beginning to gear up their campaign around fairness and fighting for the average worker and fighting for the average american. >> yeah, and i -- i'll give you one really good example. from basically from 1999 to 2010, until president obama's economic plan began to take effect, for that 11 years we saw the bottom drop out of american manufacturing.
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we lost millions of jobs during that period every single year. but from 2010 until now, in my state, in ohio and in states around the country, we've seen manufacturing job growth almost every month. led by the auto rescue, but so much more than that in ohio and so much more than that around the country. it's not what we need yet. it's not strong enough growth but considering we had dropped for ten straight years to see almost every month manufacturing jobs go up is obviously a real turnaround that -- and mitt romney is saying, let's go back to what we used to do. i just don't think that works. i don't think people want to do that. one of the things i thought was effect sieve how the president and his campaign is showing he understands the struggles and challenges of the average american. let me show you where mrs. obama, the first lady, michelle obama, at the ohio rally saturday saying how president obama understands the struggles of american families. watch this.
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>> we all know what our president stands for, right? he is the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills. that's who he is. he's the grandson of a woman who woke up before dawn every day to catch a bus to her job at the bank. so believe me, barack knows what it means when a family struggles. >> now senator, when you contrast that with governor romney's background of wealth, is that going to resonate with the ohio voters that one really understands the average person and average family struggles in your state? >> yeah, i think that ohioans are pretty smart about this and ohioans want a president that's going to aggressively, every day, wake up every single day in every single way and fight for every single job.
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and that's what i do in the senate. i think that's what the president does. you know, we've got to keep at it because this economic growth not nearly what we want, but i think when you see what governor romney and others are kind of looking back to do what we used to do and going back like that makes no sense. that's why we've lost this many manufacturing jobs because of a bad tax policy, a bad trade policy and it's not where we need to go. and i think that's why we're looking forward to the next five years and making sure this country grows. >> now let me bring up an issue that's very important to many of us. and that is hb 194. voting rights under attack in ohio. hb 194 restricts early voting, limits distribution of absentee ballots. poll workers not required to direct voters to proper precincts. i mean, this, to me, is a dangerous way of rolling back again a lot of the voting rights that we're seeing around the country and this is a bill in
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ohio. >> yes, senator durbin and i were in cleveland today with congresswoman fudge to discuss this bill. we had a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on this legislation. really is a solution looking for a problem. there's not massive voter fraud. people don't wake up at 8:00 in the morning and vote in cleveland and then drive to medina and vote again and drive to norwalk and vote again. that's not where fraud is. and to pass all this -- these laws. and what's discouraging, what's disappointing, reverend sharpton, about this is all of these laws in highway hoir s is laws about early voting were written by republican legislature with democratic support, signed by a republican governor. there was no argument on this. this was good government to have an open voting system. and now this crowd, because they are one bird flies off a telephone wire, they all do. it's state after state after state. they are going right after -- like they went after collective
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bargaining rights in ohio. they are going after voter rights and women's rights. it's outrageous. we've got enough problems without worrying about this. we've got to work on creating jobs, not fight back on people trying to take away people's right to vote. >> i couldn't agree with you more. senator sherrod brown, thank you for your time tonight. >> of course. still ahead -- how joe biden's comment about gay marriage could be his first step towards running for president in 2016. so what will hillary clinton do? easy label, right? but that label can lead to prejudice and discrimination, and we don't want to go there. so let's try to see people for who they really are. you can help create a more united states. the more you know.
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breaking news tonight -- the cia has disrupted an al qaeda bomb plot designed to blow up a plane heading for the united states. we'll talk about it with a terror expert who actually once met bin laden in the flesh. c'mon dad!
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the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. breaking news tonight -- the cia has stopped an al qaeda plot to destroy an airplane bound for the united states. officials say the plot involved a high-tech version of the underwear bomb that failed to blow up a plane on christmas day 2009. this new bomb may have been the work of al qaeda's master bombmaker. the bomb was nonmetallic, designed to help get it through airline security systems. the plot was based in yemen. but officials say the would-be bomber had not yet picked up a
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target or bought a plane ticket when the cia stepped in and seized the bomb. this new plot comes a year after bin laden was finally killed in a raid on his compound in pakistan, and it points up the enduring strength of al qaeda however much it's been weakened since bin laden's death. joining me now is nbc news terrorism analyst roger cresse. roger, what can you tell me about this plot, and how serious was it? and what does it -- what does its failure mean to the anti-terrorism efforts? >> it's another good news story because it means that the united states working with international partners, and what that probably means is intelligence services in the region were able to identify this plot well in advance of execution and get control of this device before it ever became a threat to an airplane. the administration is pretty clear, though, that this plot was not tied to the anniversary
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of bin laden's death, though they have said they believe that they -- the individual wanted to conduct the attack in this month in the may time frame. you raise an interesting question, though. what does it mean for al qaeda's strength? and this is another example of why this affiliate in yemen, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is still such a concern for the u.s. because even though al qaeda central has suffered tremendous losses, aqap as it's known is continuing to do these type of attacks. you mentioned the 2009 attack. then the cargo plane attempt in the fall of 2010 and this is another example. so that's three now in the past four years. this remains an ongoing concern for us. >> now secretary panetta has told everyone to relax. let me show you his reaction. >> what this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to
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attack this country. and we will do everything necessary to keep america safe. >> so even while he is saying relax, he's saying the country must remain vigilant but there is concern about this group in yemen. >> absolutely. and vigilance is another way of saying we have to stay on the offense. if you look at all the instability in yemen with the change in presidential leadership and this ongoing civil war, a lot of administration concern is focussed on yemen as the place we need to worry about the al qaeda threat the most. al qaeda on the arabian peninsula has demonstrated capability. you put up a picture of ebra him al asiri. and what he is doing is he's training other bombmakers. he's trying to impart his knowledge on a whole other cadre of people to continue his type of efforts. so the lesson we need to draw is although we're doing really well against al qaeda, this aflts in particular in yemen, continues to try and target the united
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states, aviation being a priority, and so we need to maintain an offensive strategy against it. >> roger cressey thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> you bet. joining me now is peter bergen, one of the true experts on bin laden and al qaeda. mr. bergen met bin laden in 1997 for an interview in eastern afghanistan. when bin laden made his first threat to the united states on camera. >> translator: we declared a jihad, a holy war against the united states government because it is unjust, criminal and tyra tyrannical. >> since then he's written new books. his newest is "man hunt, the ten-year search for bin laden from 9/11 to abbottabad." clearly al qaeda is still a threat but this thwarted plot is
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a failure. what do you make of it? >> the plot originates from the al qaeda on the arabian peninsula. the one on christmas day 2009 failed. also the attempt to bring down two cargo planes. they were detected in october of 2010. we now have this plot. the details still pretty fuzzy, but whatever it was has been averted. they tried to kill the senior counterterrorism official in saudi arabia at the beginning of this kind of cycle with these kind of very hard to detect bombs. that also failed. so it's really a record of failure, al. >> what does it say about al qaeda's capabilities and desire to strike the united states? >> well, the desire is high. the capabilities are weak. i think that's what it says. >> now you've actually met bin laden. did you think back in your meeting with him when you first heard the news that he had been
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killed, what did you think back about? >> i thought -- i mean, a, i thought the trail had gone pretty cold. by 2010 i was not confident at all that bin laden would be found and unbeknownst to me and the 99.9% of the rest of the world, a very small group of people at the cia, the white house, the department of defense started thinking -- started getting information that, you know, led them to think they might have bin laden, although that intelligence was never -- was never anything other than circumstantial. so, you know, i was surprised as anybody else when bin laden was killed. >> you say in the book that the bush administration really missed their chance to get bin laden after tora bora. and you write that, quote it was the cia's assessment that bin laden had fought at the battle of tora bora and survived. bush was insensed at this and became hostile. it is clear when -- that when
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presented with an opportunity to kill or capture al qaeda's top leadership, just three months after september 11th, the united states was instead outmaneuvered by bin laden who slipped away, disappeared from the american radar and slowly began rebuilding his organization. now how did bin laden manage to slip away? well, you know, there was a very relatively small number of american soldiers on the ground. by my count more western journalists at tora bora than american soldiers. there were requests to send in a battalion of rangers coming from the cia operatives and their leaders. and those requests were turned down. and part of it was the bush administration and the u.s. military that time was victims of their own success. very small group of u.s. special forces supported by the cia or helping the cia manage to overthrow the taliban in the course benefit three weeks. but that was not enough to basically kind of find and finish the core of al qaeda in
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the battle of tora bora. they dispersed someone to pakistan. in my book i sort of -- i think it's fairly clear that bin laden, instead of doing the obvious thing of going back across the border into pakistan doubled back into afghanistan. was there for a very remote part of afghanistan for a while. then finally went into pakistan where he spent the final nine years of his life. >> what is the legacy of bin laden and how we went after him, which is really what your book manhood is about. >> i think the legacy of bin laden is a legacy of failure. he didn't get the united states out of the middle east which was his intention. he basically, with the attacks on 9/11 it was sort of al qaeda's pearl harbor. it was a great tactical victory but tloed the strategic defeat of the organization. and, you know, what does the manhunt say about the united states? it says that enough resources and sort of intelligent folks at the cia and other places focus on a problem, eventually they're going to find a solution.
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it did take ten years to find bin laden. he wasn't making the kind of mistakes -- he wasn't talking on cell phones. he wasn't communicating very regularly with people in his organization. he was trying to keep a low profile. and he was a pretty hard target to find. and the book outlines a story that's more, i guess, a christie rather than james bond. a very long process that involved all sorts of technical intelligence, liaisons with foreign intelligence services, you know, spies on the ground to get him. >> peter bergen, thanks for join pupgs peter ing us. peter's new book is called "man hunt, the ten-year search for bin laden from 9/11 to abbottabad. still ahead -- why everybody is already talking about joe biden, hillary clinton and the 2016 election. stay with us. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story
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and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. vice president biden makes a comment on same-sex marriage that has everyone talking. that's next. the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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[ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8. welcome back to "politics nation." vice president joe biden's comments on "meet the press" about gay marriage ignited a bit of a controversy. listen. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying
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men, women marrying women and heterosexual, men and women marrying, are entitled to the same exact rights. all the civil rights, and i don't see much of a distinction. >> that comment has sparked a debate on marriage equality. it's also sparking interest in -- about a possible biden for president run in 2016. the vice president joked about that in the very same interview. >> who is more likely to run for president in 2016, you or secretary clinton? >> i think we may run as a team. i'm only joking, obviously. i don't know whether i'm going to run and hillary doesn't know whether she's going to run. >> there's a lot of truth in humor, mr. vice president. >> they are having a laugh. but it could be reality. 67% approval rating, hillary clinton is popular. she's riding a way of positive coverage in the press, but she's not saying much, yet. >> do you think the united
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states is ready for a woman president, or is it still a long, long way to go? >> oh, i hope it's not a long, long way to go. i really want to see that in my lifetime. >> you're going to be that woman who is going to break that final glass ceiling. >> i really -- no, i -- i am very flattered, but i feel like it's time for me to kind of step off the high wire. i've been involved at the highest levels of american politics for 20 years now. >> not exactly a campaign kickoff, but months before the 2012 election, the 2016 race is already promising to be an amazing race. joining me now is erin mcpike, reporter for real clear politics and david druker, associate from the politics editor for roll call. thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> good to be here. >> what do you make of these biden comments? was this real or was this joe being joe, erin?
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>> well, let's not forget, joe biden has run for president a couple of times already before. and this is a man who wants to be president. he also said on "meet the press" awhile back that he would never rule it out. so is he thinking about it? sure, he's thinking about it. people are talking about it, and he's vice president. so he does have that kind of air and he could run. but, look. hillary clinton, we don't know about her either. joe biden just said that he doesn't know if he'll run or if she will run. bill clinton said she has to make that decision for herself. everything she has telegraphed so far suggests she's too tired to do it, but you never know. she might change her mind in a few years. >> well, david, i mean, we have heard her say she's tired. she wants to get off the high wire of american politics. but bill clinton, let me show you this. her husband seems a little perfectly willing to let his wife run, although he thinks she's sincere. let me show you what he said. >> and i believe that she's being absolutely honest with you
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when she says she doesn't think she'll go back into politics. whether she does or not, who knows what will happen. if she comes home and we do this foundation stuff the rest of our lives, i'll be happy. he changes her mind and decides to run, i'll be happy. >> so she is sincere. i think that she means it. come home and rest and we'll talk about it, hillary. that's how i read that one. what do you think, david? >> well, i think four years is a long time. hillary clinton is not likely to serve in a second obama administration. so either way, whether romney is elected or obama is re-elected she'll have a good four years off to miss politics. her stature has only increased during these past few years. she's much more popular across the board now than when she first ran for president. so for her, i think it's a real possibility. for joe biden, i think what would have to happen is obama would have to be re-elected and leave office very popular so he could run as the heir apparent to the obama administration, much like george herbert walker bush did for reagan.
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beyond that, he wasn't successful running on his own before, and i don't see it happening in the future. >> now, but erin, vice president biden has been a pretty tough campaigner for president obama. look at this. >> the romney rule says, let's double down on the tax cuts for the wealthy. that's another trillion dollars in tax cuts over the next ten years going to the top 1% of american taxpayers. i don't blame her for crying. she's going to -- she is going to inherit it. america has known that we can't go back to the future, back to a foreign policy that would have america go it alone. shout to the world you're either with us or against us. i said before, thanks to president obama, bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. >> i mean, good lines, good
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reaction to the baby, showing he's quick on his feet. pretty good campaigner, erin. >> sure. but it's often the job of the vice president or the running mate to be the attack dog. can joe biden carry a message on his own when he is in his 70s? it's hard to tell. we're starting to see generational shifts in american politics. president obama is on the cusp of the baby boom generation in generation x. if mitt romney does not win and president obama wins a second term, the republican field that we're looking at in 2016, if that's the case, is star-studded. but it has a lot of younger politicians. so we're starting to move away from some of these older politicians and going a little bit younger. that might make it even harder for joe biden. >> david, let me push you on her point about it because even on a democratic side, we hear names like martin omalley, tim kaine, andrew cuomo, all of whom are
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younger. and the fact is joe biden would be 74 years old. hillary clinton would be 69. so even in the primary or facing a younger group of republicans, how much would age be a factor, david? >> well, it would be a huge factor. i think especially for joe biden being 74. it's one of the reasons why i don't think he would run in four years unless he was the heir apparent and it was sort of a done deal and the party had decided it. we remember all the press surrounding john mccain four years ago when he would have been the oldest president ele elected had he won and age would be a huge issue. joe biden's record on his own is not always that great. david gregory gave the vice president a real tough time, i believe in that interview yesterday in saying, look. you said you were against the raid that got bin laden. so what about that? and i think joe biden would have a lot to answer for if he was speaking for himself and not the president. >> when he comes out on this
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marriage equality issue, when you look at the fact that biden yesterday took this position, absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights. contrast that with mrs. clinton's position. human rights are gay rights, and gay rights are human rights once and for all. they both have taken pretty progressive positions and positions that would appeal to a lot of the progressive and younger voters in their party and across the board. wouldn't you think, erin? >> oh, i do. but, you know, we've been talking about this for more than a year now that president obama himself is evolving as he says on this issue. and i think what the comments that joe biden and hillary have made are really showing that. it's not necessarily them trying to position themselves so much as it is the administration as a whole is starting to evolve on
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it. >> erin mcpike and david druker, thanks to both of you for coming on the show. >> thank you. >> any time, thank you. ahead -- signs the gop effort to suppress the vote might be working. how we fight back, next. [ woman ] oh, my gosh -- it's so good! [ kristal ] we're just taking a sample of all our different items in our festival of shrimp so we can describe them to our customers. [ male announcer ] red lobster's festival of shrimp starts now!
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we talk a lot on this show about the gop assault on voting right laws in states around the country. republicans say it's all about fighting fraud. but even in their own investigation of every conviction or prosecution of voter fraud since 1997, republicans found just 311 cases of fraud. that's 311 cases out of 593
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million votes cast. when you crunch the numbers, you get a fraud rate of.00005%. is there another reason for the surge in new laws in the republican-controlled states since president obama's election? vivian applewhite is a 93-year-old woman who has been denied the right to vote. she was a guest on this show last week and offered her opinion as to why they have so many new laws. >> i think that the reason that they want this i.d. and everything is because there's so many of the black people that doesn't have i.d., and i think it is because they don't want obama in there, so i think they are trying to do something to keep the black people from having the right to vote. >> there's also this new report from "the washington post." registration is down for black and hispanic voters, possibly due to economic factors.
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the post says there's been between 2008 and 2010, quote, the number of registered hispanics has dropped significantly. that figure fell 5% across the country. for blacks, registration numbers are down 7% nationwide. the white house is pushing back on those numbers saying they are outdated. but the report does underscore the challenges facing black and hispanic voters at a time when republicans are ramping up efforts to make it harder to vote. we are seeing voter registration groups pull out. we need to fight any attempt to suppress the vote. not only to see what's going on in the white house but what's going to happen in your house and my house. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. bomb plot foiled. let's play "hardball."
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